Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Not long ago I watched some videos of that crazy Norwegian guy who goes swimming in ice-covered lakes, and drinks a lot of vodka. I opined that some people will do just about anything to get on YouTube.

So a few days later I stumbled on this.

The actual counting took 40 hours, but he had to compress some of it.

I don’t know about you guys, but I was getting a little bored around 68,000, and started skimming.

I was asking myself, “Why does someone do something like this?” Not really all that interested in the answer, to tell the truth. I mean, Q: Why does a Norwegian dive into one of two holes in the ice? A: To get to the other hole.

But I was lured a little farther, and I’m glad I was. So who is this MrBeast?

Obviously he’s one weird SOB. He does these endurance stunts of various sorts, and he and a few friends seem a bit obsessed with guns, and questions like:

Q. Will a bullet go through 100,000 sheets of paper? A. No. Only about 3,000. But to “prove” it he lined up 200 reams of paper.

Q. Will a bullet go through 10,000 condoms? A. No. Only … well, we don’t know because though he lined up 10,000, he didn’t put anything on either side of that line, so the bullet just scattered the first couple dozen.

Q. What happens when you pour liquid nitrogen (-350F) onto burning napalm (2,000F)? A. The fire goes out.

And that’s how it goes. It’s like Mythbusters for Dummies, only there is no myth and the dummies don’t get any smarter.

But it occurred to me, 200 reams of paper and 10,000 condoms cost a bit of money. Some of his other experiments cost even more. And he has done things like pay for a car with wheelbarrow loads of pennies. Where does his money come from? Is he a rich kid, just fucking around?

So when I did a search for him one of the suggestions was his net worth.

Well, he’s a rich kid now, but a few years ago he was just another slob. Turns out he is 20 years old, and has an estimated net worth of $6,000,000. How does he make it? From advertising revenues on YouTube, and sponsored videos from gaming companies. It seems that’s how he got started, in the gaming community, which is huge. Once he had attracted enough attention with his silly stunts, once he had a million followers or so, these companies started paying him for plugs. I hadn’t realized it, but when you get millions of hits on YouTube, you can make some serious money.

In 2018 he gave away $1,000,000, and he has a video to prove every penny of it. Most of these gifts were in cash, though he once went to a homeless shelter, asked what they needed most, and then went to Wal-Mart and loaded several trucks with $100,000 worth of supplies. But he has also picked random gamers online and sent $10,000 or $20,000 or $30,000 to their PayPal accounts. Or walked up to people on the street and handed them $10,000 in cash. Or dropped money from a drone into a parking lot.

I can’t quite figure out … should I love this guy, or hate him? I mean, a hundred grand for homeless people is super cool, but the rest of it? Couldn’t he do more good with it?

Without question, he could. But you know what? It’s his fucking money! He made it by doing insane things like reading aloud every word in an unabridged dictionary (seven hours and change). Certainly there are deserving organizations out there that could use the dough. But I’ll tell you something. He has spread a lot of happiness more or less at random. Talk about making someone’s frickin’ day! Here’s a good example, tipping wait staff with increasing amounts from one cent to … one hell of a lot more, for a glass of water. For some reason, I sort of love it.

Yeah, he could give all that money to … you name the needy person or organization. For instance … there’s me and Lee.

But again, it’s his money and it’s a free country. You may well disagree, and I would understand. I sure hope he’s paying the IRS, though.

So I’ve spent the last few days wondering what crazy fucking thing I could do to get a million YouTube hits. Any ideas? Don’t suggest anything to do with swimming in ice.

January 12, 2019
Vancouver, WA